The NHL pre-season is wrapping up and the Devils played their last preseason game on Friday, September 27th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was the last of 7 pre-season games that the Devils played.
Looking at the pre-season as a whole, the Devils played very well and there were a few things that stood out during the pre-season.
Jack Hughes Playing at the NHL Level
Hughes looked great in all of the pre-season games he played in. He looks extremely comfortable playing against men which, of course, was the big worry for him. But he seemed right at home playing against men. He made some incredible plays and scored a few goals too. His pairing with Nikita Gusev seems like it could be a deadly one as they produced a lot of offense during the pre-season. With Hughes most likely filling the second-line center spot behind Nico Hischier, it’s going to be interesting to see how much he can produce now that he’s been able to play a few games against NHL regulars.
Taylor Hall’s Return to Action
Taylor Hall is back and in full force. In the few pre-season games that he did play Hall looked great. Coming back from his injury was huge and for Hall to look as good as he did is a great thing. Hall should be back in full force going into the season and he is looking to get back to his MVP level form.
Gusev Adapting to NHL
Nikita Gusev has looked great during these pre-season games. It seems like he has had no problem adapting to the NHL ice. “Goose”, which the fans call him, made a few great plays and scored a few goals during the pre-season. With him on a line with Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt, he’ll be able to flourish. And we already saw some of that this pre-season.
Cory Schnieder’s Comeback
Cory Schnieder was the standout during this pre-season. He looked amazing. It seems like he is back to his starter form from years past. He was making all of the saves he needed to make and made some incredible ones too. This is exactly what the Devils need and were hoping for. Hopefully, Schnieder can continue this in the regular season and help the team get back to the playoffs.
Overall, the Devils went 5-2 in the pre-season and they looked very good. Jack Hughes and Cory Schnieder shined as well as Nikita Gusev and, of course, Taylor Hall. It should be lot’s of fun to watch the Devils this year and they have really built this team up from what it was last year.
One word sums up this pre-season: READY.